2019-02-13 by W.M.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: Alexis Sanchez Must ‘Find Himself’ After Poor PSG Display | Bleacher Report
Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images
The Chile international was brought into the UEFA Champions League game from the bench on the stroke of half-time due to an injury suffered by Jesse Lingard. However, he failed to make an impact, with the Ligue 1 outfit taking total control of the contest following the injuries suffered by Lingard and Anthony Martial.
“I can’t do anything about Alexis Sanchez,” said the Red Devils boss. “When he plays he needs to find himself because we know there’s a quality player there.”
Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News picked up on some frustration from the United manager:
Samuel Luckhurst @samuelluckhurst
Solskjaer showed signs of impatience with Sanchez tonight: ‘I can’t do anything about Alexis Sanchez.’ Arsene knew. #mufc
While United’s back-up forwards were ineffective on the night, PSG showcased the depth they possess in attack. Even without Neymar and Edinson Cavani they were bright in the final third, with Angel Di Maria setting up both Presnel Kimpembe and Kylian Mbappe for their goals.
Like Sanchez, Di Maria arrived at United amid huge expectations; like Di Maria, so far Sanchez has struggled to show his best at Old Trafford. Duncan Alexander of Opta doesn’t think the former Red Devils forward was ever quite as poor as the current one is, though:
However, Sanchez failed to take his big chance on Tuesday. As these figures illustrate, in terms of their contribution on the ball neither he nor the man he replaced were able to make much of an impact:
Squawka Football @Squawka
@muhammadbutt Jesse Lingard and Alexis Sánchez vs. PSG:
Chances created: 0-0
Take-ons completed: 0-0
Split the game, but shared the struggle. https://t.co/6nnNZoTgF9
Lingard is bringing much more to the team. Not only is he relentless and intelligent in the way he presses the ball, the movement of the England international causes issues for defenders, helping to bring the best out of the likes of Martial and Marcus Rashford.
During his time on the field it’s tough to think of a positive contribution Sanchez made, with attacks breaking down when the ball reached him frequently. Football writer John Brewin noted the vibrancy he used to be renowned for has gone:
United fans have been waiting a while for Sanchez’s United career to click into gear, and there have still been some slender hopes he would eventually reach the levels he found so consistently at Arsenal.
At the moment, it looks unlikely he will ever be that footballer again, and given he is on a reported £391,000-a-week salary, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the club seek to move him on at the end of the campaign.